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Human Development

The purpose of the Human Development Department is to help you become a healthy, moral and socially responsible adult.

The department’s curriculum addresses topics relevant to your own growth and time at Cate and is designed to give you the knowledge, self-awareness, and empathy you need to live a meaningful life and make positive change in the world.

The Human Development Department also offers electives in ethics, peace studies and spirituality for juniors and seniors as well as the opportunity for selected seniors to serve as teaching assistants to the freshman and sophomore seminars. This leadership opportunity helps the seniors learn mentoring and communication skills and provides invaluable peer support for the underclassmen.

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Inquiry in Human Development

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This full year course is designed to build a foundation in Well-Being and Service-Leadership around Orientation and Organization at Cate. In the fall, topics include time management, school expectations, extracurricular programming, personal values, and independent living.

The course focuses on self-awareness, responsibility, and self-advocacy, including boundary training that addresses hazing, harassment, and bullying. Discussions include issues in human relationships, personal growth, and good decision-making.

In the winter and spring, the course aims to disseminate clear and accurate information about sexuality, reproduction, birth control, health, communicable diseases, and drug education, and to encourage respect for others regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or other differences. The approach is designed to promote positive communication skills, values clarification, and effective decision-making skills.

In the fall, this course deepens the foundational SEL skills of Human Development through Service-Leadership while emphasizing Cate’s Servons motto through one of two elective paths: Service-Leadership in the Outdoors or Service-Leadership through Social Justice.

A Sophomore Service-Leadership retreat will be the capstone of the fall experience. The second half of the year is dedicated to Well-Being. Topics of study include the Developing Teen Brain, the Power of Social Dynamics; Healthy Relationships and Consent, Self-Advocacy, Setting Clear Boundaries; Sexual & Identity Health, Identity Development; Wellness, Stress, and Relaxation Techniques; Integrity in Interpersonal Relationships; Drug Education, awareness and prevention of abuse.

The Human Development department approach is modeled on both social and neurological development, beginning with Freshman Seminar then culminating with our senior Teaching Assistants who give back to the school in the freshman seminar classes and on campus.

TA’s are asked to model the wellbeing and service-leadership behaviors – self-discipline, persistence, awareness, responsibility, and kindness, create a positive class environment by engaging enthusiastically with the students and the material, and connect with students outside of class – in order to best meet student needs and develop communication to better practice.

Senior Teaching assistants will facilitate classes and connect with their seminars. The program begins with a two-day training retreat in the fall.

In choosing to serve something greater than our own interests, we aspire to build a better community. This, of course, is what Mr. Cate intended when he chose Servons as his school’s motto.

We serve every day in simple ways, often without thinking about it. But what if we do think about it? What if we exercise our intellectual capacities in the development of a skill set designed to inspire shared vision, foster collaboration, and build trust? The most effective leadership is rooted in behaviors, not traits, in deliberate practice, not personality.

Through a mix of academic inquiry and live practice, this seminar-style course is designed to help you develop “authentic leadership” – the ability to serve and lead according to the principles that matter most to you.